Brexit is the last whimper of a dead empire

Brexit means the UK will have no choice but continue drifting further into the US’s sphere of influence. Apparently, patriotism for the British right-wing is becoming a client-state for their former colony, who usurped them as a global superpower.

Christian Patterson
Underground Mall

The UK has now officially left the European Union, making it inevitable that the UK will move closer and closer towards the US, and distance themselves from Europe. There have always been reasons from a left-wing perspective to leave the European Union, because it reinforces neoliberal policy. But the way Brexit was done, it was a right-wing gesture.

We know the reason the UK ended up leaving. Patriotic British people wanted to leave because it was seen as an expression of nationalism. But I don’t understand why. The Patriotic British don’t understand the UK’s role in global politics anymore. They still have an inflated sense that the UK is some type of Empire. Yes, the UK still is an “empire”, in the same way other European countries are neo-colonial. But it will never be the core of global capital like it once was, and it doesn’t have command of a global supply trade like it once did.

While the British right-wing saw Brexit as an expression of nationalism, it’s really the UK latching onto a former colony to be a periphery part of their global capitalist infrastructure.

This shows that the British identity – what it means to be British culturally – is inextricably linked to commanding global capitalism. They would rather be a clinger-on to American global capitalism, than be an equal member of a multinational union.

This also shows why the left-wing pro-Brexit position was short-sighted.

Admittedly, it is a principled decision, but practically, it seemed hard to imagine Brexit pushing any material and economic positioning to the left, or positively effecting geopolitics. A small country, both in terms of geography and relative population, like the UK, needs to work in coordination with other countries.

It’s hard to imagine a way the UK could have Brexited without gravitating towards the US. Who else would they gravitate towards, if not Europe and the US? China? Russia? Iran? Of course not.

Brexit will limit the UK’s ability to trade with China and Russia in the future, considering European countries are inching closer to China and Russia economically, while the US tries to pull the world away from Russia and China. For example, Germany has a new gas pipeline from Russia, and European countries are letting Huawei build 5G infrastructure, despite the US warning them not to.

Brexit may be what causes Scotland to split off from the UK. I’m not sure how easy that would be, even if Scotland voted on it again and it passed. But that is something that looms as a possibility. And if Scotland, then why not Northern Ireland? At that point, why not Wales???

This could lead to a Balkanization of the UK, an ironic fate for a supposedly “pro-UK” political gesture.

Considering Spain is going through similar secessionist movements with Catalonia, it begs the question: Do secessionist movements happen when a large, hegemonic imperial nation begin having greatly less hegemonic power?

And if secessionist movements and national splits become more common in those circumstances – after global superpowers decline in power – then what could that mean for the US?

Of course, the US is still the dominant world superpower. But that feels like it’s changing. And who knows how quickly and easily that change could take place (probably slowly and painfully tbh).

Considering the amount of white nationalist groups who want to use terrorist tactics to accelerate towards balkanization and establishing ethnostates, I think people violently trying to instigate balkanization of the US unfortunately seems like a trend that will grow.

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